The Doral and Cavalier sites were home to more than 300 apartment units that repeatedly flooded. And Briar Creek, which runs through the property, is impaired because of pollution.
Solution Part 1: To reduce flood losses, the highest-risk apartments were purchased by Storm Water Services and torn down.
Solution Part 2: To improve water quality in the creek and tributaries, the floodplain and stream channels will be restored. Water quality enhancements such as ponds or wetlands will be constructed to treat stormwater runoff that currently drains directly into Briar Creek and Edwards Branch.
Once completed, the project area will be home to a thriving ecosystem for aquatic life.
Restoration project objectives:
Restoration project costs:
- improve water quality and aquatic habitat in Briar Creek, Edwards Branch and Chantilly Tributary
- restore a total of about 4,500 linear feet of the streams
Approximately $4.9 million
Restoration project funding sources:
Future plans include:
- a greenway trail;
- educational opportunities for the nearby elementary school and community on the former Cavalier site;
- certification of sanctuary for waterfowl and other species.
Stream work is not designed to reduce flooding. After restoration, the streams will still flood. But floodwater will not hurt the open space at the site.
The Doral and Cavalier apartment complexes were built in Charlotte’s worst flood hazard area. The complexes were built in the 1960s before restrictions on construction in floodplains. Three devastating floods in nine years caused millions of dollars in damage to both complexes and to the belongings of people living there. Engineering studies confirmed there was no feasible way to stop Briar Creek from flooding the apartments. If the highest-risk units remained, future flood damages would be 400% higher than the cost of the buyouts.
As part of Storm Water Services’ Floodplain Buyout Program:
Cavalier buyout cost:
- all of the Cavalier Apartments were purchased in 2008 and torn down in 2009
- half of the Doral Apartments were purchased in 2010 and torn down in 2011
$6.6 million to purchase land (13 acres and buildings (192 apartment units)
$3 million for tenant relocation and building demolition
Cavalier buyout funding sources:
- FEMA Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant: $5.4 million (56%)
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services: $4.2 million (44%)
from the March 12, 2009 Demolition Ceremony showing the benefits of this project.
Doral buyout cost: $4.7 million
$3.1 million to purchase land (8.4 acres) and qualifying buildings (128 apartment units)
$1.6 million for tenant relocation and demolition
Doral buyout funding sources:
- FEMA Pre-disaster Mitigation Grant: $3.5 million (75%)
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services: $1.2 million (25%)
Giving back to the community
Before demolition in 2009, Habitat for Humanity removed reusable items from the Cavalier and Doral Apartments such as appliances, doors, windows, cabinets, and light fixtures. See a
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police used empty apartment units for training exercises for SWAT officers and K-9 units. During demolition at both sites, all asphalt, brick, concrete, carpets and metal products were recycled.